14 women's views

Marine Coutelas


If I had to start at the beginning, I suppose you could say that my work began in my grandmother's garden in Reims, developed in the Aisne and has been nourished over the last two years by a residency at the Jardin National de Belgique. A sort of Herbarium in motion began to take shape. Drawing and photography were not enough for me to study living things and their structures. I confronted it with plaster. My work is an attempt to capture the movement of plants in nature, without changing anything. The delicacy and observation that this experiment calls for are fundamental. In a way, it's about disappearing behind the model, to capture the way it develops and evolves naturally in space. Having another point of view: the raw light on the negative imprint. To highlight the gestures of the plants. Decentring Man. To pay tribute to the order of evolution, without which the human species would not exist. I've chosen species that are on our scale or that are bigger than us, to have a real body-to-body experience.

 It's also about seeking a different relationship with time, slowing it down a little to give us time to see. There are several attitudes that come together in my sculptural practice. On the one hand, the study of living things with the studies (Gunnera, Ravenala, Sabal domingensis, Philodendron undulatum, Victoria cruziana etc). Secondly, the stylistic exercise that began in my grandmother's garden. How do you give continuity to the recurring motifs in her garden, how do you show these delicacies that disappear and reappear with the seasons? Memorise your gardening activity and give it a form that extends into your everyday life. Everything is a pretext: mirrors, lamps, tables. My curiosity was to see how far you can push a single motif, what you can make it do simply by multiplying and moving it (Mille feuilles, Pousse, variation IV etc).

Then there's modelling and glazing. Clay is my favourite material. I try to work with enamels like the surface of water, creating water mirrors and inner lakes.

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To transform into, to put oneself in the place of, to speak with a thousand-year-old mollusc, to go back in time through stone.

I seek to establish connections between the mineral, plant and animal worlds. The sculptures on display are the result of a dialogue and listening to the materials. I try to experience the freedom that nature offers us through the infinite variation of forms, constantly renewed.

Marine Coutelas